Cliq builds on iPhone idea, pushes away from smart"phone" category

Cliq builds on iPhone idea, pushes away from smart"phone" category

Summary: Take a look at the picture to the right. It's the just-announced Motorola Cliq, powered by Google Android and T-Mobile and scheduled to be released in time for the holiday season.

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Take a look at the picture to the right. It's the just-announced Motorola Cliq, powered by Google Android and T-Mobile and scheduled to be released in time for the holiday season. Do you see that little green button down on the lower right corner of the screen? That's the dialer - you know, like, for a phone call.

Call these devices smartphones if you'd like - but increasingly, the phone part of the device is just another feature, another widget on the home page.

I talked to some of the attendees at the GigaOm Mobilize show yesterday, which is where Motorola and T-Mobile introduced the device, and a couple of them compared this device to the iPhone - no, not in the sense that this is finally the long-awaited iPhone killer. Instead, they see this type of device building on what Apple has been offering with the iPhone, a push away from the "phone" part of mobile device and more toward the apps - or widgets, as Motorola calls them.

One iPhone-carrying attendee told me that the majority of his time spent on the iPhone is through the apps - e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, banking, news"papers" and so on. The user-interface - the way you interact with the apps on the screen - is what's appealing, he said. (That, plus the AT&T voice service was hit or miss anyway.)

Motorola is trying to take that appeal a step further with MotoBlur, though. The idea behind the Cliq is that it's all right there in front of you - open already and running on the device's home page. No more having to find and open and close apps, the way you do on the iPhone. Because it's a Google device, you can expect that Google's most popular apps - GMail, Maps, Search - will be  deeply integrated into the device, too.

And, of course, there's Twitter and Facebook. After all, you can't launch a device like this - which Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha called "The First Phone with Social Skills - and not have Facebook and Twitter built in. After all, these days, those are two of the biggest drivers of mobile data traffic -that, and email, of course.

Earlier this week, Facebook hosted a rooftop mixer for the tech press at its Silicon Valley headquarters to talk about what it's been doing in mobile. One of the most interesting st ats I heard at that event was that, among Facebook members, those with access to a mobile version spend twice as much time engaged in the Facebook on the site in it than someone who's only signing on from a PC. Think about that for a second. Twice as much time - because users can update their status from a red light. Yup, the mobility factor is defnitely huge.

Bottom line: Call them apps or widgets, but these are the drivers of the next-generation of smartphones.

And doesn't it feel kind of silly to keep calling them smartphones when the phone itself is just another app these days - and not even the most-used one, at that. I thought about just calling them "handhelds," as in "Has anyone seen my handheld?" but that didn't work for me, either. We definitely need a better name for this category,

Any suggestions?

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, iPhone, Smartphones, Social Enterprise

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122 comments
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  • How about 'commer'?

    (A shortened version of communicator.)

    Moto gets points for coming up with the idea of making a specific function
    (social) easier with the Cliq. But putting all their eggs in the "social" basket
    seems risky. Isn't the appeal for this kind of limited in the overall market?
    We'll soon find out, I guess.
    Userama
    • uh.... "no"

      ??



      bro - WHERE did THAT come from?!
      TechPr0sSD
      • LOL!

        maybe he pronounced it c-AW-mmer, but definitely too close to the wrong word.
        midenginedrift
      • :-) (nt)

        Userama
    • I like "PocketPC"

      What's in a name? (e.g.: Kleenex, Xerox, ...)
      If I come up with a really good one, maybe I can get a patent on it and charge others big bucks to license it ... That seems to be a trend these days.
      alan.douglas@...
      • Except Microsoft already beat you to it...

        PocketPC was the new name for Windows CE many moons ago. Of course, that's now been replaced by Windows Mobile.
        Wolfie2K3
    • Can I set it to "Stun"? Is there an app for that?

      Userama may be right. Perhaps there's too much emphasis on the "social" functions such as Twitter, craved by those who feel so insecure about their lives that they have a need to constantly stay in touch with someone, even total strangers, and keep "updating" them on all the important stuff in their lives, such as "I am waiting for a bus", "I made myself a cup of coffee", "I broke up with my girlfriend, 'cause she wasn't twitting enough!"

      When total strangers want to be my "friends", I want to set my "communications device" to stun!
      Emilio_z
      • Yes, but not really

        When I first read your post, I thought you were
        spot-on. But what I was agreeing with was the
        "I am waiting for a bus," and "I made myself a
        cup of coffee" aspect. Thing is, they're not
        posting Tweeting to total strangers. The
        majority of those who are paying attention are
        RL friends, and people who were friends that
        they can no longer see on a regular basis --
        the inner circle and extended group, if you
        will.

        Perhaps more importantly, though, if they want
        to do it, why should we really care?
        SpectreWriter
    • confusing

      In Spanish the word comer means eat in English.
      I think it might confuse some.
      Just give in and call it a tricorder...... hahaha.
      netjess@...
  • Shorten "Handheld" to "Handy"

    This is a common term already used in Germany but it was originally created for what we in the US call a cell phone. First time I heard it I thought it was a bit odd but now it might make sense.. and it has a bit of a double use "Handy" being short for handheld an aren't they quite handy.
    dan.gale@...
    • I like it! (nt)

      Userama
    • Re: Shorten "Handheld" to "Handy"

      Last time I asked someone for a handy, I got slapped.
      Hellking
    • or lengthen Handy to Hand Job

      it's all the same in the consumer mind anyway..
      Htalk
      • Funny!

        As long as the carriers keep doing stupid things like charging $20 for text plans after you've already paid $30 for 3G service when there's no 3G in your area, and otherwise nickle and dime-ing you to death (more like $10s and $20s), then hand job is very appropriate.

        Personally, as long as the carriers keep adopting that approach, I prefer the term "wallet cleaners"!
        fnash
        • Handy plus Service Provider = Reach Around

          When you are talking about service providers it becomes a "reach around".
          netjess@...
  • The Hero has Twitter and Facebook integration too

    I don't know know if Motorola goes a step farther with the social media integration, but the Hero does leverage Twitter and Facebook too. Aside from the widgets you would expect, there is integration with the contact book and Facebook friends (updates phone numbers, pictures, birthdays, and other fields). I don't use Twitter so I can't speak for what Hero does for that.
    Michael Kelly
    • yes!

      thank you!
      TechPr0sSD
  • RE: Cliq builds on iPhone idea, pushes away from smart

    I've used android and have an iPhone. I can tell you that the interface certainly is going to give the iPhone a run for it's money. Once it's on the Verizon network I expect that those who are still considering moving to AT&T for the iPhone will no longer do so. It's the equivalent of the iPhone in many many respects.
    rob_cluett@...
  • Just go back to calling them PDAs again

    That is what they are now, more so than ever before.
    Wynndy
    • PDAs were crippled in comparison (nt)

      .
      M Wagner